Long Beach Report:
Mix of Cyclists and Skaters Leads to Finish-Line Mayhem, Crashes
Sara Sayasane battles to the finish.
Hyper's Dane Lewis won the Long Beach Inline Marathon today after a messy finish in which skaters had to jump over a fallen cyclist on the final turn.
Lewis, 28, of Sacramento won the race comfortably.
About 50 yards from the finish line, he stood up and coasted the rest of the way.
Finishing about five yards behind him was Wolf Racing's Josh Wood. Bont's Jono Gorman was third.
The lead pack finished a few seconds later.
Lewis' time was 1 hour, 13 minutes and 9.7 seconds.
Sara Sayasane of Milpitis Speed poured on the speed to finish first in the women's race at the front of a large field sprint.
"Sara was awesome," said Bont's Glenn Koshi.
Hyper's Kelly Gunther finished right behind her.
Finishing third was K2-Empire's Briggyte Mendez; fourth was Bont's Jilleanne Rookard.
Sayasane's time was 1 hour, 24 minutes and 8.6 seconds.
Salt Creek's Chris Adams won the master men's division in a time of 1 hour, 18 minutes and 43.6 seconds.
Adams was the first master man to come around the final turn and was able to hold on for the win.
Bont's Patrick Naylor was second.
The win was vindication for Adams, who was leading the pro master's sprint in last month's Northshore Marathon when he fell and was taken out of contention.
Bont's Peggy Girgenti won the pro master women's race. Bont's Conny Strub was second; Naomi Shechter, third.
This year's Long Beach Marathon once again proved the difficulty of putting skaters and cyclists on a racecourse at the same time.
The cyclists started their noncompetitive bike tour 45 minutes before the start of the inline marathon.
But, as usually happens, the skaters caught them before the finish.
Going around the final turn, a cyclist fell in front of the pro men's pack of skaters. Skaters had to jump over the cyclist. According to one report, several skaters fell.
The advanced men's skaters had a different problem. A group of them followed cyclists to their finish line, which is on the opposite side of a boulevard from the skater's finish.
According to one report, race volunteers directed the skaters to the wrong finish line.
The skaters' timing chips did not work in the cyclists' finish area. So the skaters finished the race without official times or placements.
Some of the top pro master men also finished on the wrong side, Koshi said.
"They really need to do something about having the skaters and the bikers on the course at the same time," Koshi said. "I really think the skaters need to go first."
(Race updates provided by Race & Roll editor Kim Perkins and Bont's Glenn Koshi.)
(Talk about this story in the Forum.)
(Posted on Oct. 16, 2005)
Coming up Monday ... More photos of the Long Beach Marathon!
Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson
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